You’ll Find More Than Lemonade in Beyonce’s H-town

I recently visited Texas for the first time!  I went for a long weekend with my boyfriend for his college friend’s wedding.  We only spent our time in Houston, but the city gave us a warm welcome. It was July after all. Despite the heat, we enjoyed some outdoor sights that can’t be missed and cooled off in exceptional budget-friendly restaurants that kept us fueled for each adventure.  Did I mention they have tacos? So many of the most genius combinations of food wrapped in the sweet embrace of tortillas. Here are some of my new favorite places to see and places to eat at, in this taco mecca of the world:

Points of Interest

Best Outdoor Activity

Houston Arboretum and Nature Center

Houston has several parks around the city, but this one was a treasure.  We visited a handful of the parks, and many of them were mosquitos’ paradise.  However, this one was different. It was the least buggy and the most beautiful.  Steps from the parking lot was a boardwalk that curves around trees and stands over a pond.  Many turtles swam skeptically around us, and a Great Egret greeted us as we began the trail.  As you travel further into the arboretum the landscape changes from dense with trees to open and airy with surrounding ponds coated in lily pads.  Pops of color are on full display around the arboretum too in the form of unique flowers.  The landscape will likely continue to change as years progress when young saplings and other flora mature.

Hours: Open 7 days/ week

              March-September 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM

              October-February 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Address: 4501 Woodway Drive, Houston, TX 77024-7708

Insta Worthy Murals

Pandr Murals

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Six murals in downtown Houston are a welcomed vibrant contrast to the concrete, asphalt, and brick color scheme that exists in the city.  Bright purple, turquoise, and yellow attract people, like ladies to outdoor string lights, while the cheerful sayings both motivate and instill a sense of Texas pride in viewers.  They are located at The Shops at Houston Center on McKinney St. between San Jacinto St. and Caroline St.

Greetings from Houston Mural

If you are looking for a more traditional mural, look no further than this postcard on the side of Gelazzi, a pizza, sandwich, and gelato shop in The Heights neighborhood.  It depicts images that Houston and Texas are known for and surely makes a classic keepsake photo.

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Address: 3601 White Oak Drive, Houston, TX 77007

I found these murals on the blog, it’s not Hou it’s me before my trip.  (Thank you for the suggestions Anastasia and Natalie!)

Sensational Shopping

Galleria Mall

This mall was the epitome of everything is bigger in Texas.  It was HUGE. Inside you will find high-end shops and jewelers, a Tesla Showroom, ice rink, and multiple restaurants to choose from, like this conveyor belt sushi spot that we tried.  

It is a great place to cool off for an entire hot Houston afternoon if you wanted to.

Hours: Monday-Saturday 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM

             Sunday 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Address: 5085 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77056

Houston Premium Outlets

A half hour from Galleria Mall are the Houston Premium Outlets.  Nike, Puma, Gap, Oakley, Coach, and Nautica, are just a handful of stores you will find here offering great sales.  

Hours: Monday-Saturday 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM

             Sunday 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Address: 29300 Hempstead Rd, Cypress, TX 77433

Restaurants

As Authentic As It Gets

Sergio’s Mexican Grill

I am partial to this place because it’s where we had our first meal in Texas.  I ordered the Combo #5, not to be mistaken with Mambo No. 5, although it did have a little bit of everything.  A little bit of taco cut with a knife, a little bit of rice and beans on the side, a little bit of enchilada, that’s all I need.  All for $10.50. I digress…

Hours: Monday-Thursday 11:00 AM to 9:30 PM

              Friday-Saturday 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM

              Sunday 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM

Address: 29110 U.S. 290 Frontage Rd, Cypress, TX 77433

                (Within walking distance to the Houston Premium Outlets)

Most Likely to Leave you Speechless²…Because of Taste and Price!

Tacos A Go Go

I have two words- Tater Taco.  Tater tots, black beans, queso, bacon, jalapenos, and other typical taco veggies, all for $3.29.  Heaven is indeed a place on Earth. My wallet and stomach were singing Sister Act hymns, praising the decision to eat here.  I also tried the Pollo Guisado, listed on the menu as “One of the 63 Tacos You Must Eat Before You Die,” according to Texas Monthly.  It was $2.79. The experience left me speechless indeed…

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Hours: Monday-Thursday 6:30 AM (Breakfast tacos!) to 9:00 AM

             Friday 6:30 AM to 9:30 PM

             Saturday 8 AM to 9:30 PM

             Sunday 8 AM to 9 PM

Address: 2912 White Oak Dr, Houston, TX 77007

               See website for additional locations.   

Torchy’s Tacos

Let me start by saying that most of these tacos were also $3-$4 each! I was so mesmerized by the value and flavor that I did not take a single picture.  Let’s let my description paint a picture in your mind. For starters, the Trashy Trailer Park Taco.  Oh yes folks, that is its name.  Fried chicken, green chillies, cheeses, and what taco would be complete without more cheese in the form of creamy queso.  Simply, perfection. I went a bit more bold for my second taco and ordered the Mr. Orange.  Salmon, corn and black bean relish, avocado sauce and cheese mingled in a corn tortilla.  Whoever came up with that combination, I thank you. It was the best way I have ever eaten my Omega-3’s.  I also tried the Hillbilly Queso with ground chorizo to dip tortilla chips in and really round out the meal.  

Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:00 AM (Breakfast tacos!) to 10:00 PM

             Friday 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM

             Saturday 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM

             Sunday 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM

Address: 350 W. 19th St, Houston, Texas 77008  

                 See website for additional locations.     

Unrivaled Food and Decor

Local Foods

Corn nuts and cork barstools.  You may be wondering right away what corn nuts are.  I was too, so I had to try them.  They are enlarged pieces of corn that are crunchy like a nut with a subtle popcorn taste, flavored with chili-cheese seasoning.  They came as a side, along with potato salad, that my boyfriend and I ate with the Crunchy Chicken sandwich for $12.00.  We were at the restaurant at 4:00 PM before our flight home.  From 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM they have a happy hour menu that consists of drinks, small plates, and pizzas.  We tried the White Flatbread Pizza and added crumbled bacon on top for about $6.00.  Both entrees were delicious.  The decor was modern with a twist and provided a comfortable and chic atmosphere to cap off our trip.     

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 Hours: Monday-Sunday 10:00 AM to 8 PM

Address: 420 Main St, Houston, Texas 77002

                (Very close to the Pandr Murals)

                See website for additional locations.   

Most Texas-Sized Meal

The Hay Merchant

This is a great spot for food and drinks in The Heights.  I tried their Fighting the Bees cocktail, which was a mix of honeysuckle vodka and liqueur, lemon (Hey Beyonce!), and lavender honey.  There are also MANY beers and bar snacks to choose from. We shared the Half-Sized Chicken Fried Steak with an extra side of macaroni and cheese (it already came with mash potatoes #carbo-loading).  Holy cow in a Texas pasture, it was a big meal, served on a silver tray.  

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I can only imagine what it would have looked like if we had ordered the Giant Chicken Fried Steak listed on the menu.   

Hours: Sunday-Wednesday 11:00 AM to Midnight

             Thursday-Saturday 11:00 AM to 2:00 AM

             Happy Hour daily 11:00 AM to Noon and 3:00 to 6:30 PM (Specials include 30 types of beer for $3 each or $5 beer and a shot)

Address: 1100 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77006

Last but not least…

Best Gas Station (You Read That Right)

Buc-ee’s

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This gas station and convenience store should be considered an amusement park.  Locals described it as a cousin of Walmart because you can buy just about anything there.  They are also big fans of their beaver mascot. He is on everything from shirts to shot glasses, bandaids, and bumper stickers.  There is also an impressive amount of candy and jarred goods with the Buc-ee’s logo in the store. I am told at the “bigger Buc-ee’s” they also make their own fudge.

Hours: Open 24/7 (Because why wouldn’t it be?!)

Address: 11151 Shadow Creek Pkwy, Pearland, TX 77584   

               (This one is about 15 to 25 minutes from Houston’s Hobby Airport depending on traffic, but check Google for more locations.)

What are your favorite spots in Houston or the craziest thing you’ve purchased at a Buc-ee’s?

2 thoughts on “You’ll Find More Than Lemonade in Beyonce’s H-town”

    1. Hi Anastasia,
      Your blog was very helpful when I was planning for my trip and very well put together. I am glad to hear you are a Buc-ee’s fan as well. Thank you again for posting about the murals!

      Liked by 1 person

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